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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI specialistMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a highly specialized test that produces very clear images of the body without the use of radiation. MRI scanners produce a variety of two and three-dimensional images using a large magnet, radio waves and a computer. MRI is widely used in hospitals for medical diagnosis and staging of disease.

View MRI CPT4-Codes

When are MRIs Recommended?

MRIs are generally used to diagnose health problems including internal injuries, early-stage strokes, cancers, musculoskeletal problems, brain and nervous system disorders and advanced heart problems. MRIs also help doctors evaluate soft tissue masses, bone tumors and spinal problems such as herniated discs.

Boulder Community Health also offers advanced, minimally invasive procedures such as MRI-guided breast biopsy and tumor localization.

What to Expect During an MRI

The patient lies on a bed that is moved into a horizontal tube. The machine emits short bursts of a powerful magnetic field to create images. During the scan, you must lie very still for 30 to 45 minutes.

Because you must be able to lie still in an enclosed space for an extended period of time, please notify your physician or the MRI department (303-415-7550) if you are claustrophobic or unable to lie still for 30 minutes or more.

The scanner makes loud tapping sounds, so headphones or earplugs are available.

Most MRI scans require no preparation, although you may be advised to stop taking aspirin or blood thinner three days before your exam.

Tell your doctor about any health problems, recent surgeries or whether you may pregnant—
and if you have kidney issues and the MRI order calls for contrast dye.

Benefits and Risks

Because strong magnets are used, patients with implanted medical devices, such as individuals with heart pacemakers, are not good candidates for an MRI—unless the device has been identified as MR Safe. Our MRI department can help identify MR Safe devices.

Schedule an MRI appointment

BCH offers MRIs at Foothills Hospital in Boulder. To schedule an MRI, call 303-415-5170.

Imaging at Foothills Hospital

BCH also offers MRIs at CU Sports Medicine in Boulder. To schedule please call 303-315-9901.

Paying for Services

BCH accepts most major insurance plans. Explore Self-Pay pricing options if you are uninsured or wish to pay directly for any service.

Questions About Your Bill?

For Billing and Payment information, click here.

Important Information

Boulder Community Health is following current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that call for patients and visitors to continue wearing masks at Foothills Hospital and all BCH patient-care facilities.

People age 12 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more on our general vaccine information page.